A competition is underway to name the newest addition to the Raasay House experience.

The competition involves coming up with a name for the new boat.

The best name will win the person who suggested it a boat trip for four people.

The competition closes on Monday 24 July at 2pm.

Suggestions can be made on the Raasay House Facebook page.  

Anyone who hasn't had their say on the Proposed West Highland and Islands Local Development Plan (WestPlan) is encouraged to do so before midday on 21 July 2017.

Published alongside WestPlan is the Proposed Action Programme which shows how the Plan can be implemented on the ground.

Scott Dalgarno, Development Plans Manager explains, “We want to make sure that communities and other agencies work alongside the Council in delivering this plan and the Action Programme shows how that might happen. We have consulted Scottish Ministers, Key Agencies and other parties mentioned in the Action Programme during its preparation.”  

Strategic infrastructure projects for the West Highland and Islands area are identified, such as A890 Stromeferry Bypass and upgrading of facilities at Uig Harbour. Actions for specific settlements are also included, for example completion of the Portree Link Road and upgrades to Mallaig Harbour.

Comments on the plan have been coming in steadily, but the Council is urging anyone who wants to comment but has not already done so, to submit their comments before the deadline.  

Tim Stott of the Development Plans Team said, “You should let us know what you object to or support in the Proposed Plan, including any development sites, and mention the reasons why you object/support and any changes you would like to be made.”

Scott and the mountains of Skye he loved

 

He was a mountain man who loved the rugged hills of Skye and now, even in death, Scott Travers' passion for high places will live on helping protect others following in his footsteps.

Friends and family were shocked when Scott tragically passed away on only his 52nd birthday.

Now though thanks to those who knew him, his association with the island's mountains which meant so much to him, will continue with a £3,000 donation raised in Scott's name and handed over to Skye Mountain Rescue.

The money, in honour of the father of one who lived in Dunfermline but travelled around the world to climb, was raised through donations at his funeral and the Just Giving page set up by his fiance Debbie Macdonald.

Handing over the money to Skye MRT, Debbie said:  "Scott was at his happiest climbing mountains and often spoke of the amazing work done by the mountain rescue teams. He would be proud to help towards the safety of other kindred spirits.

The fields around Dunvegan School came alive today - abuzz with activities, entertainments and competitions.

Anyone who has used a cash machine in Mallaig in the last 48 hours is urged to check their bank accounts for unexpected cash withdrawals.

Police Scotland is urging the public to be vigilant after skimming devices were found on cash machines in Mallaig.



During this morning (Saturday 30 July) a member of the public discovered a skimming device on an ATM at the Royal Bank of Scotland branch in the busy ferry port, and further enquiries also discovered that an ATM at the local Bank of Scotland had been tampered with.

Lidl has been forced to recall one of its products over health fears.

The decision was taken because although the product is Alesto Honey Peanuts there is no mention in English on the label that there is peanut in it.

According to the Food Standards Agency, who have issued the alert, this makes the product a possible health risk to anyone with an allergy to peanut, a condition which can prove fatal in the event of an extreme reaction.

Exciting and ambitious plans to create a community woodland campsite in Broadford have taken a significant step forward.

The Broadford and Strath Community Company, who are behind the project, are now looking to appoint a project manager to manage the whole scheme and see it through to completion.

The post is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise with the project manager to oversee the construction works for the development of the site, establish the campsite business and support the first year of its operation.

A 13 year old made his way to safety to raise the alarm after his uncle was badly injured in The Cuillin.

The French youngster had earlier in the day been out walking with his father and uncle however having set off to see the Fairy Pools they somehow overshot in misty conditions and ended climbing up and over into the rugged terrain of Harta Corrie. It was there that the man slipped and fell breaking both his arm and leg.

Skye Mountain Rescue were first alerted to the incident at around 5.45pm on Thursday (July 29) 

A man airlifted to hospital after a shoreline rescue near Portree was described as “improving” by local police more than a week after the dramatic incident.  

In what turned out to be a multi-agency on July 22 involving ambulance, coastguard, police and RNLI personnel a middle aged man was located and given emergency assistance after apparently falling on the rocky shoreline at Bearreraig Bay close to the Storr Lochs hydro electric plant.

On arrival at the scene Portree’s RNLI inflatable was used to put crew members ashore.

Members of the public - incliuding a ten-year-old boy and 14 year-old boy - originally raised the alarm.  The 14-year-old ran up to the top of the steep slope nearby to phone for assistance and also brought down blankets to assist the casualty on the beach.

Eventually he was stretchered to the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter which managed to land nearby before being flown to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for emergency treatment

 

Trophies up for grabs

Skye Games takes to the water this week-end with the annual Dinghy Regatta.

With the main Highland Games events taking place on Wednesday, the sailing is on Saturday, (30th July), in Portree bay and with new boats and new sails the organisers, Skye Sailing Club, are confident it will be a great success.

A spokesman said: “Any Member at RYA Level 2 or above that is confident enough they will not crash into others can take part in one of the Club's boats.  We do not want to exclude anyone so will try and make it work for you.

Don’t forget today is Operation Tweet day for Skye Police. Follow them through their Friday shift and find out what they are doing.

Abbott Nutrition is recalling two batches of its PaediaSure Plus Fibre Vanilla Flavour 200ml bottle and its PaediaSure Plus Banana Flavour 200ml bottle on a precautionary basis because the product in some bottles may have different texture or consistency due to compromised sterility.

Normally used in relation to child growth and development, the product is for special medical purposes for use under medical supervision, and not for general sale by retail. The products below, according to the Food Standards Agency,  may be unsafe due to insufficient sterilisation.

One hundred and thirty fiddlers and cellists come together for a sell out event in Sleat tomorrow evening.

Celebrating 30 years of visiting the peninsula, Alasdair Fraser of Scotland and California, will being staging his Mammoth Fiddle event as part of the Skye Festival at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

The event is part of the annual Fiddle Summer School and Alasdair wants the concert to be an entertaining and fun extravaganza event for the course participants as well as the public. Last year he jammed in well over 100 fiddlers, 30 cellists and some soloists to entertain a full house of excited listeners.

Sea Cloud II

 

Portree RNLI were in action last night (July 27) to bring ashore an elderley lady in need of urgent medical attention.

Local crew members took their boat shortly before 5.30pm after a call from assistance from the 86 metre long pasenger cruise ship The Sea Cloud II.

 

Want to know what your local police team get up to in a normal working day? Then tomorrow is your chance to find out.

 Follow the steps of Skye officers from 7am – 5pm as – duties dependent – they tweet live all through their shift.

 If you want to find out more then just follow the link here

 

Processed meat product producer Mattessons have issued a recall notice the Food Standards Agency has confirmed.

Affected are Roast Chicken Flavour Fridge Raider products because they may contain pieces of plastic. The company say no other items in their range are involved.

For the full list of products involved with the recall check here

Talks about the future of the iconic Skye attraction – the Storr – take place in Staffin this week-end.

As consultation gathers pace the consultants chosen to look at all options are hoping to get some local views when they stage a public event at the Community Hall on Saturday (July 30).

Staffin Community Trust (SCT) announced last month that a consortium led by Hazel Allen of Dingwall-based Athena Solutions, Richard Heggie of Urban Animation and Sam Foster Architects, were awarded the contract to carry out an Options Appraisal of Highland Council-owned land at the Storr.

The team is now looking for input from local people as it sets about investigating all the options at the busy site, next to the A855 Staffin-Portree road.

Skye's Fiona Mandeville

 

Crisis point looks to have been reached in the on-going row surrounding the Crofting Commission.

For after weeks of claim and counter-claim the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) appeared to have had enough and have called for the head of the man they see as ultimately responsible for the common grazings row.

Now the SCF want the resignation of the Commission’s Convenor, Colin Kennedy and as an olive branch to the to the rest of the board have made it clear that with him gone they are happy to continue to work with the Crofting Commission in the future.

Skye based SCF Chair, Fiona Mandeville said: “It is clearly time for Kennedy to go,”

 

The skills of four Polish medics weren’t enough to help after one of them fell heavily while out walking on the Trotternish Ridge.

Skye Mountain Rescue had to be called in to assist the party when one of the group dislocated his shoulder following a fall while carrying heavy equipment.

In the end the walker was helped off the Ridge and later needed medical attention at Broadford hospital for his injuries.

Raasay’s Italian connection is continuing to play a significant part in the island’s planned new distillery.

For while work continues apace to build the new facility and convert the old Victorian era Borodale House, over 1,500 miles away in Tuscany the vital equipment needed for the whisky making process is also on-going.

For R&B Distillers who are behind the new distillery have, as well as sourcing their red wine finishing casks from Frilli in the Italian region, are also having their specialist stills and equipment made there. 

 

The countdown has begun for this year’s Isle of Skye Highland Games.

Once again thousands of visitors are expected for the big event which will take place over Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 August.

Although the Skye Games in their present form were inaugurated in 1877, the tradition which they represent goes back hundreds of years before that, with clan celebrations that included fiercely-constested feats of strength and endurace, together with piping and other forms of entertainment similar to those that can be enjoyed at the games today.

Alexander with mum and dad at the unit

Portree parents Alan and Megan Mackenzie have been back to say a big thank you to hospital staff who helped keep their son alive.

Young Alexander, now 2 years old, travelled with mum and dad to Raigmore’s Special Care Baby Unit to not only show nurses how well he is now doing but also to hand over a donation of £3,230.

Two years ago Alexander needed specialist care at the unit after he was born two months early and late required shunt surgery.

So to say thank you, Alan a stalwart of the Isle of Skye Pipe band, and his family held a ceilidh fundraiser and a raffle to raise money for the unit. Altogether the collected a total of £4230. A £1000 of that was given to the Ronald McDonald House in Glasgow where they Alexander spent two weeks while having the brain surgery.

Concerns are growing over news that jobs could be lost at Ministry of Defence contractor (MoD) QinetiQ as part of a UK wide review.

The British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre, run by the company, has its headquarters and offices at Kyle of Lochalsh and a facility on Rona which make use of  the waters of the Inner Sound between the Isle of Skye and the Scottish mainland to carry out surface and underwater water range tests of weapons, equipment and vessels.

Although the review is still at an early stage QinetiQ have confirmed that as many as 3 percent of its national workforce of just over 6,000 could go. Whether any of those job losses would impact on the Kyle facility is not yet known.

Ironically the latest news follows on the heels of controversial proposals to expand the existing 25 sq km range by a further 25 sq km, which, it was claimed, would actually help protect the local economy.

Hotel Eilean Iarmain where the rescue took place

 

Just weeks after tragedy was narrowly avoided following a dramatic sea rescue off Skye a new film – aimed at highlighting the dangers of drinking or falling into water, especially after drinking – has been released.

It was in May that the coastguard was alerted in the early hours after two men apparently went into the water in the bay at Isleornsay.

The pair, who had earlier being drinking at the Hotel Eilean Iarmain were said to have fallen in the sea as they returned to their boat by dingy.  Fortunately, despite being in the water for over two hours they were located and pulled to safety by RNLI staff called to the scene.

Now, a new film which targets 18 to 29 year old men with a message about the dangers of cold water shock has been launched by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.   The 40-second film aims to highlight the dangers of jumping or falling into water, especially after drinking, and reveals some stark dangers. 

Braes Village Hall and History and Heritage Week is now underway

Through until Saturday there will be everything from an exhibition to photography competition, open gardens and walks as well as craft workshops, pop-up cafe, and talks by local historians.

Opening times and events are as follows.

 

Local lad John Gillies was named Player of the Camp when Scotland’s rising young shinty stars came together last week.

John was one of seven Skye players who took part in the 2016 National U17 Shinty Development Camp.along with the country’s top up and coming youth players.

 

Competitors in the Kyles' Cup

 Bad weather may have forced an earlier postponement but there was plenty of action over the week-end when Skye Sailing Club’s Kyles' Cup finally took to the water.

In mixed conditions, the weekend's double legged Kyles' Cup saw three different winners, proving that small keelboat racing is a close business around Skye and Lochalsh.

With larger boats unable to make the rescheduled date, after last weekend's high winds, the way was left for a close battle for the Kyle and Lochalsh Community Trust trophy among a fleet in which a boat of 33 feet was the 'big one'.

Kay and Anne preparing to leave Skye


Today could end in tears for Skye adventure pair Anne MacAskill and Kay Simpson.

For having made it to the Iranian border in the 10,000 mile long Mongol Rally the duo have hit their first major obstacle –  they haven’t got the right documentation to legally enter the country.

Anne from Dunvegan said: “We may have hit a brick wall though to get into Iran tomorrow as we do not have a carnet de passage and a couple of men on motorbikes were going to get charged $2,000 to get through.

“We shall face up to that in the morning but in the meantime, I am getting my goon and scarf ready in the hope that we succeed.”

During their first week 67 years old Anne and Kay, aged 69 – the oldest competitors in the long distance event – made it all the way through to the border between Turkey and Iran without too much difficulty.

Relaxed by the roadside

 

Istanbul and still going strong. That's the latest report from Skye's long distance rallying pair, Anne MacAskill and Kay Simpson.

For during their first week taking part in the 10,000 mile Mongol Rally the pair, Anne, 67 and 69 years old Kay have managed to get to the Turkish city without any real problems.

Writing on social media, Anne, the mum of international recognised stunt cyclist, Dannym said: "It surpised us to only take an hour to get over the border. But before that we have had a lot of driving, driving, a bit of eating then sleeping.

"We spent Sunday night near Brussels then drove on Monday from there through Germany to Passau and into Austria. Lots of roadworks! Kay kept having to tell me we can't go a see friends here and there for coffee on the way!

Businesses in Skye are being encouraged to join others across the Highlands and apply to the next round of Scottish EDGE funding and the chance to win up to £100,000 each in grants and loans.

The Scottish Government funded competition supports and encourages business growth in Scotland. The ninth round for applications opens from 1 August to 7 September.

Portree's main Co-op

 

Skye charities and community groups could be in line for huge cash windfalls with the return of the “divi”.

For the island’s three Co-op stores are to re-introduce a new membership benefits scheme later this year which will not only bring cash rewards for customers but also potentially major extra funding for local causes.

Under the reward scheme – set to be introduced in the autumn - members will receive a 5% reward for any purchases they make of Co-op own brand products and services.

However, a further 1% will then go to benefiting local causes and projects under the community reward initiative. Initially members will choose from a list of three selected by staff on Skye, but later they will be able to propose local causes they think should benefit.

The Broadford store

Although no exact figure has been put on the money which will be available to Skye causes, there is speculation amongst local staff that between them the three Co-op stores on the island, two in Portree and the other at Broadford, could generate a five figure sum annually to benefit charity and community groups.

News that the on-going inquiry into the Edinburgh trams fiasco has now cost in excess of £3.5 million has been slammed on Skye.

FlySkye,  which has been fighting a long but frustrating fight to bring regular flights back to the island, have hit out over the high expenditure believing the money could have been far better spent.

Commenting via social media a member of the group said: “Watching the evening news and thinking that the cost of the inquiry into Edinburgh's tram fiasco, could have paid for the Skye airport!

“At least our project would be money well-spent for the community.”

Dr Hanson

 

Skye doctor Jonathan Hanson is leaving behind his island duties to help Team GB athletes go for gold in Rio.

The 43 year old is just one of two NHS Highland doctors who will be heading for the Olympic Games in Brazil which are due to start next month.
Going with him will be Culloden based Dr Derick Macleod and the pair will have been chosen to serve as medical officers for the Performance Services Team during the games which will take place from 5th to 21st August.

The two doctors will primarily be based at the Olympic Village in Barra de Tijuca as part of a multi-disciplinary team made up of 44 highly-experienced health professionals from all four home countries.

Dr Hanson is a qualified consultant in sport and exercise medicine – one of only four in Scotland – and works part-time as a rural practitioner in Broadford. At the same time he shares his expertise working at the Sportscotland Institute of Sport in Stirling and for Scottish Rugby.

Nearly a week after a body was found, Police have now confirmed that it has been formally identified as that of missing pensioner Roger Fletcher.

The 77 years old disappeared after leaving his holiday home near Dornie to apparently go out walking on June 5. After he was reported missing a major search was launched and there were repeated sweeps of the area with tracker dogs.

However, it was not until Friday 15 July that a body was found at Camas-luinie near Dornie.

The Food Standards Agency have issued another recall warning.

Lytham Foods is asking customers to return  a variety of its Freshbite Wraps because of concerns over the company procedures that are in place to control Clostridium botulinum.

 

Classical music and crofting come together for a special performance on Skye.

Scottish Ensemble, the UK’s leading string orchestra, will perform a concert at Portree’s Aros Centre tomorrow night – the first time in five years - and tickets are still available.

Local residents are more likely to associate Inkster’s name with his law firm, Inksters, after he became one of the most prominent consultants and commentators on crofting law – one of the firm’s niche areas of expertise – during the recent events concerning common grazings committees being evicted from office in Lewis by the Crofting Commission.

But Inksters, the Scotland-wide solicitors firm which has offices in Glasgow, Forfar, Inverness, Wick, Lerwick and Portree, is also increasingly becoming known amongst Scotland’s artistic community for its philanthropy, supporting a diverse range of cultural and charitable organisations through funding and sponsorship.

Stepdance and fiddle courses are to be staged at Sleat’s Sabhal Mòr Ostaig from August 8 – 12.

The step-dancing will be led by Sophie Stephenson, a traditional musician, performer and step-dancer from Fort Augustus.

In 2016 Sophie will be leading her own course at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig where she first attended step-dancing classes, with Harvey Beaton twelve years ago. Sophie is an experienced and encouraging tutor, having performed at camps and festivals throughout Scotland, Canada, the United States and Norway, and having attended the University of Edinburgh, Colaiste Bheinn na Faoghla, and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, as well as tutoring regularly with Fèisean nan Gàidheal.

Joanne Harris coming to Skye

It's still weeks away but Skye Book Festival is turning heads as well as pages with its latest line up announcements.

For the organisers have pronounced themselves "thrilled" to confirm that Joanne Harris, the bestselling author of a host of books including the story to large screen success "Chocolat" will be at this year's event.

They have confirmed that the author will be at the Aros Centre on Friday 2nd September at 7:30pm when she will be talking about her latest novel 'Different Class'.

The dark psychological, thriller tells the story of a veteran Latin teacher in a Yorkshire Grammar school, facing all the changes of modern education and the disruption of reconnecting with a former pupil from his past

Peter May

And having already confirmed last month that Peter May, the multi award-winning author of the Lewis Trilogy set, the China Thrillers and the Enzo Files was to attend things have got even better.

For Mr May is now to use the festival to officially launch a new book. He will be at the event on Saturday 3 September with the book going on general release some five days later.

The Skye Book Festival runs right over the week-end September 1-3.

The Skye Camanachd Shinty Lotto was drawn on Saturday 16 July 2016.

The numbers drawn were 2, 13 and 14 and there was one winner who scoops £250!

The prize fund for Saturday 23 July 2016 is £250!

Latest to join scheme

 

When it comes to Staffin a community run online directory really is the business.

And now the Staffin Community Trust (SCT) has added its tenth local commercial concern to the local resource making it easier than ever to find out what is available, opening times and even the stock they carry. biz listings have welcomed the 10th local business to join the burgeoning online directory.

A Skye cyclist received minor injuries after being struck by a car.

The incident happened yesterday at around 4.15pm just outside the centre of Broadford. Although police have not identified the rider they have confirmed he is a local man in his 40’s.

Officers who attended the scene said a foreign visitor to the island was driving the vehicle when it clipped the bike rider. However, after due investigating a decision was made not to report the car driver for the accident.

 

 

With just days to go the final preparations are being put in place for this year’s Dunvegan Show.

Organised by Duirinish & Bracadale Agricultural Association the event is once again being as a fun day out for all the family.

To be held at Dunvegan School on Saturday 30 July activities get underway from 10am when judging begins.

Last year's youngest competitor, Tim Nicolson

Other events during the day include a dog show, horticultural, home produce and handicrafts competition and sale, as a well as vintage tractors, a sheep shearing demonstration, highland dancers, bouncy castles, a display of agricultural wartime memorabilia and rally cars.

BBC Alba’s use of Skye as the setting for its drama “Bannan” has been highlighted as one way the Gaelic language channel can deliver not only to audiences but also the Scottish creative economy in general.

The series and its positive impact on the island was raised during a parliamentary event in Westminster. As it is seen as one of a number of productions to provide a boost to the Highland & Islands creative economy. A success which could be built upon if BBC ALBA was strengthened with more original programming, it was claimed.

MG ALBA – which operates BBC ALBA in partnership with the BBC – said the opportunity to achieve parity for the Gaelic language channel with Welsh counterpart S4C had the potential to unlock substantial benefits for independent production sector as well as secure the future success of the channel amongst its core audience.

Persistence has paid off and Sleat is now getting some extra special attention.

Sleat perfectly Skye have reported that following “a lot of hard work” from Visit Sleat and ferry company Calmac’s marketing team, the southern part of the island is now being put even more on the tourist destination map.

Police are appealing for help to solve a local crime near Portree

A concrete mixer has been stolen between 4.30pm yesterday and 7am this morning. The missing machinery disappeared from a worksite at the Storr Lochs pumping station. Any information? Call 101.

 

SNP MP Ian Blackford took to the floor at Westminster yesterday to firmly oppose the renewal of Trident on Scottish soil.

The member for Ross, Skye & Lochaber made his views clear as he addressed parliament during the debate over the issue.

Speaking on social media today, Mr Blackford said: “Last night I took part in the Westminster debate on the renewal of Trident. A debate which saw 58 of the 59

Scottish MP's oppose the signing of a blank cheque to replace these obscene weapons of mass destruction.

Police were called to a spate of accidents which occurred along or just off the A87 on Skye yesterday.

During the first incident, around lunchtime, an Austrian motorcyclist was taken to Broadford Hospital with minor injuries after he slid off his machine in front of another vehicle close to the Sligachan Hotel.

Then at around 4.05, emergency responders were called to the Broadford – Elgol road following an incident involving a French registered small Mercedes lorry which had been converted into a camper.  For several hours the road was blocked and as a precaution ambulance service staff attended although they were not needed.

Finally at 4.15pm close to Broadford a minibus collided with a car. Again fortunately there were no serious injuries.

Today police on Skye tweeted: “Can we please have a better day on the roads today with everyone going to/from/within safely!”

 

. An accident shortly after 4pm today during which a vehicle overturned has left the road blocked between Broadford and Elgol near to Kirkibost. No information yet about any possible injuries.

 

Police are seeking information about a blue Volkswagen Golf stolen from Kyleakin between 8pm on Saturday and 4.20pm on Sunday. They say it was later found abandoned near to Kyle of Lochalsh. Any information  - call 101

They've only just begun their 10,000 mile road trip but already Skye's Anne MacAskill and Kay Simpson have set themselves apart.

For the pair, taking part in the Mongol Rally as The Gallivanting Quines, found themselves picked on Day 1 of the event ...for being the oldest participants!

Over the coming months Anne, 67 and 69 years old Kay will have the journey of a lifetime as they take a gruelling route in their 20 year old van across England, France, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia.

Speaking on social media after the start at Goodwood - the spiritual home of British motorsports - Anne, the mum of stunt cyclist Danny, said:  "It was great to see some friends and family today to see us off - before the big send off though, several awards were handed out, including to ourselves when we received one for being the oldest particpants!!

It has served the community for close to a century but this week looks set to see the end of Portree’s Margaret Carnegie Hostel.

Opened back in 1924 to board girls who lived too far away from Portree High School to travel in on a daily basis, demolition of the building’s former annexe has already taken place. Now contractors are expected to begin demolishing the hostel itself over the coming days.

The MC hostel in fact pre-dated the school’s Elgin Hostel which was used for boys’ accommodation after it was built in 1933. That building, now sympathetically restored to a high standard, will serve as a present day hostel for youngsters attending the school as well as housing the Highland Council’s local archive centre.

Seven Skye Camanachd youth players have joined up with some of the country’s top youth players at the 2016 National U17 Shinty Development Camp.

The Skye players who travelled south are Martin Pringle, Connor Gilpin, John Gillies, Angus MacDonald, Stewart Taylor, Sam MacPhee and James Morrison.

They headed south to Strathallan on Sunday and they will be put through their paces by some of shinty’s top coaches with the camp finishing on Thursday.

High winds over the week-end forced the cancellation of the popular Kyles Cup sailing competition.
And with similar poor weather forecasts for the week ahead organisers, the Skye Sailing Club, have set new dates for the event  this coming week-end, Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July.

Announcing the cancellation decision the club said: “The forecast for this weekend is showing sustained winds of F6 with gale force gusts.
It is clear that this will be more wind than several boats and their crew will wish to start in due to the greater likelihood of damage – personal and technical.
"It is regrettable, and the weather may well end up being 'possible' on the day, but with travellers and boat movements needed the decision had to be taken ahead of the morning of the event. Obviously the change of date will mean the event is not possible for some but becomes possible for others.”

 

Fiona during her long distance cycle

 

A cardiac arrest while out cycling almost cost Fiona Grant’s husband his life but today the Broadford woman was expected to complete a 700 mile  two wheeler adventure that could help prevent others from dying.

For the past two weeks or so, Fiona has been on a massive cycle ride that has taken her from Lews Castle College UHI on Lewis to Shetland, Oban and then back to the college’s centre in her home village.

On the way Fiona, who works for the UHI and altogether will visit 13 of their university and college centres, has been raising funds for the Skye based Lucky2Bhere  as well as the UHI Scholarship Fund.

It was back in 2009 that Fiona’s husband Donnie was taking part in the gruelling Bealach Beag cycle sportive that he suffered a cardiac arrest. Fortunately trained staff were able to respond quickly and their skills saved him.

Director of Studies and Vice-Principal of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (SMO) John Norman Macleod has been named at the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Herald Higher Education Awards.

Prior to his appointment, SMO was an independent college offering seasonal short courses in Gaelic language and culture, but today it offers five honours degrees as well as postgraduate courses and serves as the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture on the Isle of Skye.

A spokesman for City of Glasgow College, which sponsored the award, said: "Education is at the heart of everything we do and this event is a great way to celebrate the tremendous work and commitment of Scotland's universities and colleges.

"We would like to congratulate all the entrants and particularly like to pay tribute to John for winning the Lifetime Achievement Award which we were delighted to support this year."

Made in Sleat makes a welcome return next week-end as the event is staged for the third year in a row.

Once again the showcase for all things Sleat will bring together a wide variety of makers and artists drawn from the south of Skye.

The event runs from July 23-30 and is to be staged at the Duisdale Hall open daily from 10am-5pm.

Police have confirmed that a body found near Dornie  is that of missing pensioner Roger Fletcher.

The 77 years old who disappeared after going out apparently walking on June 5 prompted police with tracker dogs to carry out a series of searches in the area without any success.

However, early today (Friday 15 July) a police dog handler located a body which was found at Camas-luinie near Dornie, Lochalsh.

Peter and Alexandra with Skye MRT

 

So what do you do if you’re a stranded in thick mist and waiting to be rescued from a mountainside? How about proposing to a loved one!

For that’s just what happened on Skye earlier this week after two young Polish climbers sparked off a mountain rescue when they ran into difficulties while crossing Bealach na Glaic Moire.

Anne & Kay with their van

She’s not under starter’s orders yet but Danny MacAskill’s mum is off on a big adventure all of her own.

For instead of nervously looking on while her famous son risks life and limb, 67 years old Anne together with friend, Kay Simpson, 69, set off this week…to drive 10,000 miles in a two decade old van.

The pair left the family’s Dunvegan home today to compete in the Mongol Rally. It begins on Saturday and takes in an incredible route covering England, France, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia.

Danny

Stunt cyclist Danny whose video of his ride through the Cuillin has been seen by 40 million people, seemed pretty upbeat about the whole thing and told his fans via social media: “And they're off! Was great to see my mum and her friend Kay set out on their 10000 mile drive to Mongolia as part of the 2016 Mongol Rally.”

Highland Council is urging that under the new BBC Charter audiences in Scotland get a fairer deal regarding the future of the broadcaster especially in relation to the case for supporting and developing Gaelic.

Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chair of The Highland Council’s Gaelic Implementation Group said: “We acknowledge that BBC ALBA is currently achieving a great deal and delivers a good service within the context of the limited broadcasting hours and the resources available at their disposal. 

However, in order to support the strategic aims of the Highland Council in relation to Gaelic and cultural development, it is important that BBC ALBA fills the gaps in its service provision, especially in the areas of news, children's programming, drama and comedy- all of which are culturally and creatively important to our communities”.

Carbost, Skeabost Bridge and Staffin are all to get higher speed broadband speeds within six months.

The pledge comes from Highland and Islands Enterprise who are tasked with delivering new fibre connections in the region.

Also benefitting locally, but not on Skye are Balmacara, Dornie, Glenelg and Stromeferry.

More than 600,000 premises across the country can already connect to their fastest-ever broadband speeds through the Digital Scotland roll-out.

The programme is delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland. Other funding partners include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), BT, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund.

Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, said: “We are now more than half way through the roll-out of the programme and as we progress we are starting to reach very small and more remote communities. Deploying fibre to areas like this is part of the plan that will help ensure that Scotland becomes a world class digital nation by 2020.

Movie stardom saw the normally busy Glenelg-Skye ferry finishing everyday operations early this week.

For with a film crew wanting to use the historic vessel, the Glenachulish ceased ferrying vehicles and passengers from 4pm on Tuesday.

The boat is to feature in an up and coming movie, "Above the Clouds" which is expected to be released later in the year. 

The newly created montage

 

A new artistic endeavour has found a safe berth in Sleat.

For CalMac employees Sam Graham and Graeme Mackenzie have teamed up to provide a novel view of nautical goings-on in the area.

And now visitors and customers at CalMac's Armadale ferry terminal can see an interest packed photo montage in the ticket office which tells the story of vessels associatied with port.

The Food Standards Agency is highlighting a product recall from supermarkets Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

Both have issued warnings about canned pasta products as they may contain pieces of rubber. These products were all manufactured by Noliko N.V in Belgium.

The Tesco products affected are:

Two Skye organisations are celebrating after being awarded funding from  Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland.

Counselling Care: Skye & Lochalsh, has been given a grant of £3,600 which they will use towards the Administrator/ Fundraiser’s salary, while Skye & Lochalsh Mental Health Association did even better.

They have bee awarded a grant of £4,000 towards the Project Workers salary that supports the weekend service provision.

Commenting on the awards, local MP Ian Blackford said: "Each of these organisations are very worthy causes and do a lot of good work in their respective communities."

The Highland Community Planning Partnership Board have given their full support to a campaign running to reduce loneliness and social isolation.

The Board, made up of representatives from The Highland Council, NHS Highland, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Third Sector and a number of other organisations, met at the end of June to consider options for a breakthrough achievement for 2016. 

At the meeting all agreed to sign up to the campaign launched by NHS Highland to reduce loneliness and isolation and in doing so the Board will now focus on encouraging as many staff as possible to make a pledge to take action.

 A 27 year old man accused of various offences has pleaded guilty and being remanded in custody after appearing before Portree Sheriff’s court.

The offender was arrested following reports of a vehicle being stolen from the Clobsha Nan Cuaridhean area of Broadford and subsequently crashed near Kyleakin.  The man, who comes from the Glasgow area was charged with road traffic offences and crimes of dishonesty. 

 

A couple who went missing in poor visibility conditions on Skye yesterday were found safe and well.

The alarm was raised shortly before 9am after information that the pair, thought to be in their early 20’s, had become disorientated whilst in the Fairy Pools area.

Skye Mountain Rescue was called out and eventually some four hours after the initial alarm the two missing walkers were found and led to safety.

A teenage boy, reported missing at the week-end, has been found alive and well in the Isle of Rum, following a massive search and rescue effort co-ordinated by Police Scotland, UK Coastguard and Mountain Rescue.
 
The teenager’s family, on holiday from Norway, contacted Police Scotland yesterday (Sunday 10 July 2016) after they became concerned for his safety when he did not return from a late evening walk.
 
A massive search and rescue operation was launched involving local officers and dog handlers from Police Scotland; Coastguard Rescue Teams from the Isle of Rum, Fort William, and Mallaig;  UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopters from Inverness and Stornoway;  Mountain Rescue Teams from Lochaber Fort William and Mallaig; Salin Inshore Rescue Team and Mallaig RNLI lifeboat.

 

Officers on the Isle of Skye dealt with a number of incidents at the weekend which resulted in three men being reported to the Procurator Fiscal, all of whom are expected to appear at Portree Sheriff Court today (Monday 11th July).

 

Following reports of a vehicle being stolen from the Clobsha Nan Cuaridhean area of Broadford and subsequently crashed near Kyleakin, a 27 year-old male from the Glasgow area has been charged with road traffic offences and crimes of dishonesty.  As a result of investigations carried out into this incident, a number of items of stolen property have been successfully returned to their rightful owners.

 

 A 40 year-old male from Glasgow has also been reported for road traffic and disorder offences in the Staffin area on Saturday evening, during which a female Police Officer sustained minor injuries.

 

 And a 39 year-old male from Sweden has been reported for a road traffic offence following a collision that occurred on the A87 near Druim Na Cloich on Saturday which resulted in two people being taken to hospital for treatment.

 

 

 

He may be taking part in the Thunder Run but Jonathan Bungard’s stamina sapping ordeal will hardly be over in a flash. For later this month he will be hoping to raise hundreds of pound to support a Skye church by completing the gruelling 100 mile event in less than 24 hours. Money raised by Jonathan, the son of recently ordained priest Rosemary, will go towards urgently need repairs to the rectory at St Columba’s Church in Portree.

Skye has become the new home for a little lost otter.

The 10 week old male was discovered alone near Inverness and after been initially cared for by 
Munlochy Animal Aid has now been transferred to Broadford which will be its home until it reaches the age of around one years old.

Now being cared for by the International Otter Survival Fund, the young creature will then be released into the wild.

Police in Portree have confirmed that a 12 years old child from the village has been reported over an incident of damage to a car which occurred in the Blaven Road area on July 4.

MS Prinsendam, nicknamed the Elegant Explorer, became the latest cruise ship to dock in Portree.

Carrying nearly 800 passengers and with a crew of 440 the 204 m vessel, with nine passenger decks, is owned and run by the Holland America Line.

Police praised passers-by who sprang into action after a collision between two vehicles on Skye at the week-end.

Officers who attended the scene said that first aid was administered and passing traffic directed around the accident by the Good Samaritans until the arrival of the 999 services.

The incident occurred shortly after 3pm on Saturday some four miles south of Sconser. Police say that two vehicles were involved a VW Caddy with Swedish number plates and a VW Golf. Although there were slight injuries none were believed to be life threatening.

Skye Mountain rescue team members were scouring part of the Cuillin this morning to try and locate a man and a woman missing in the hills. The alert was raised earlier today and searchers set off from Sligachan at around 8.50am.

 

As well as being an exciting day for the over 100 people taking part in the Glamaig Hill Race, Saturday July 9 was a fun day out for all the family.  Bouncy castles, barbecues and a prize-giving in the evening made for an exciting day to remember.

 Over 100 runners took to the mountains in the annual Glamaig Hill Race!  

Donnie (right) with Alex Salmond and Kate Forbes

Talks have been underway to ensure an irreplaceable Scottish language resource – which has its roots on Skye - is not threatened for future generations to share and enjoy.

Skye’s Donnie Munro, chair of the Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches archive had a meeting with local MSP Kate Forbes and former SNP leader, Alex Salmond – now a Westminister MP – to discuss how the invaluable resource can be not only preserved but allowed to expand in the years to come.

Originally £100,000 of Scottish Government funding was used to set up the £3m archive which was launched back in 2010.  Donnie who has been chairman since its inception described how the new website would open up Scotland's past as never before.

He said: "This is the most ambitious cultural digital heritage project anywhere in Europe, if not the world.

It was no hi-tech rescue when firefighters were called to save a bovine stuck in a bog.

Instead the crews from Portree, Broadford and Dunvegan hefted pitchforks and spades to manually dug out the stranded £2,000 beast.

The exhausted and very hungry bull was discovered 48 hours after it was last seen roaming Ben Aketil windfarm on Skye. Rescuers believe the animal had tumbled three feet in a remote area of peatland. When later crofter Ian Duncan discovered it with just its head sticking above the mud, the Fire service was called for help.

Another cruise ship, this time the 181 metree long Azamara Quest was due to dock in Portree today. The vessel can carry nearly 700 passengers

International competitors are expected to flock to Staffin next week for a major event.

However, few if any, of those taking part are likely to be household names.

For next Friday will see around 60 sheep dogs taking part in the annual and hugely popular Staffin Trials at Ellishadder. The annual event will be judged by a man with an impressive pedigree himself.

Skye residents were expected to be contacted this week in a far reaching investigation launched by detectives from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).

For the island has been identified as one of a number of locations around the UK where addresses are being used by unscrupulous insurance ghost brokers to obtain fraudulent car insurance deals.

Officers will be contacting dozens of residents in Aberdeen, Inverness and the Isles of Skye and Harris as part of ongoing investigations into suspected ghost brokers. Some addresses in these areas are being used by fraudsters on car insurance applications to give their unwitting victims seemingly cheap deals on their car insurance.

Once the false address details are provided and a quote obtained, the ghost brokers will often forge or alter cover letters to show the real address of the victim. These are then sent back to the victim making them think they have valid insurance cover in place, when in fact, they’re left with policies that are not legal or with no insurance at all.

One of the tell-tale signs this is happening is that residents in rural areas may receive letters from insurers that are addressed to people that don’t live there.

Police in Portree are investigating reports of damage to cars and a fence which occurred in the  Blaven Road and Fletcher Place areas. If you have any information please call 101.

Pictured: (left to right), host for the ceremony, comedienne Sally Phillips, Amanda Meldrum, Training & Development Officer,
Joyce Laing, Head of Human Resources, Rhona McLeod, Chief Executive, Pam Russell, Chair of the Board,
Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People.

Trust Housing Association have been crowned winners of the Excellence in the Third Sector category (over 250 employees) at the annual Investors in People Awards 2016, the leading industry event recognising high performance in people management.

THA runs amenity housing in Druim na Pairc Portree, and sheltered housing in Shulishader Beag, Portree.

The Isle of Skye Golf Club joins 300 others next week to encourage the next generation of golfers.

A Golf for Free one hour session is to be staged on Tuesday 12th July from 11am-noon as part of the HSBC Golf Roots programme.  It is celebrating the 145th Open at Royal Troon  by encouraging more youngsters and families to get involved in the sport.

For further information telephone 01478 650465.

Demolition underway

Builders creating the brand new Raasay distillery have been busy this week – demolishing!

For as part of the overall project which will see the new concern up and running next year and likely to attract around 12,000 visitors a year to the island, a section of the old Borodale House, which will form part of the overall complex, is being pulled down.

This week work begin to remove the old extension which is then, in due course, to be replaced by the actual distillery production unit.

The @LochabSkyePol Twitter feed covering the Skye, Lochalsh and Lochaber areas of the West Highlands has been nominated for a national Police Twitter Award for informative and proactive approach taken to use the account to keep the community updated with activity in the area.

This is the first time an account from the Highland and Islands area has been included in these awards, which recognise positive use of the platform in Policing across the United Kingdom.

Over the past year the account has seen followers more than quadruple, has gone viral with tweets about recovered drugs and American rap stars whilst also passing on valuable crime prevention, personal safety and community updates to followers and receiving positive international media coverage in the process.

It’s been described as one of the toughest races in Scottish hill-running and this Saturday sees the latest running of Glamaig Hil race.

The steepness of the climb, variable weather conditions and the incredible descent have made it a “must do” event for runners drawn from across Scotland.

Currently the Mens’ record is held by Finlay Wild in 2012 with 44:27 timing while for the women that was set all the way back in 1990 by Tricia Calder with a time of 56:10.

The race begins at 3pm with registration taking place at the Sligachan from 1pm.

However, the day isn’t all about the running with a little something for all the family planned.

Portree Pier will be the unusual setting on Sunday for a special service that will be echoed around the world.

To mark Sea Sunday, churches from across the globe come together to remember seafarers and pray for them, their families and those who support them.

Sea Sunday, is organised through internationally active Mission to Seafarers which, since 1856, has served the men and women of the merchant fleet who have dedicated their lives to seafaring; crews who have in turn served their countries during war and through peacetime.

In Portree on Sunday the ecumenical service will take place at the RNLI station from 10.30am

Andrew Wright, Secretary General of the The Mission to Seafarers, said: “This year marks the Mission’s 160th anniversary and we are celebrating the lives of seafarers and their families by holding a special Sea Sunday on 10 July 2016.

For the first time today the Scottish Affairs Select Committee were meeting on Skye to focus on aging population, the impact of a period of population growth and how businesses can retain talent in the Highlands and Islands.

Among the panellists will be people at the heart of the local community, including representatives from academia, local government and community groups.

The Committee will also hears from Gregg and Kathryn Brain, whose fight against deportation has made headlines around the world, about their experience of immigrating to Scotland.

Committee chair Pete Wishart commented: "I am delighted to be coming to Skye, to meet the people who live here and understand the challenges they face. It is pleasing that the last few decades have seen steady population growth on the island.

Brian Inkster

The war of words may be over but the row over the Crofting Commission’s handling of the common grazings issue appears to be rumbling on.

Specialist in Crofting Law, Brian Inkster, who has already commented in depth on the dispute has weighed in again following what he claims was a “massive U-turn” by the Commission. 

He said: “Common sense and an apparent recognition of the actual law on the matter have at last prevailed. The Crofting Commission has been at sea on the management of common grazings funds for some time. No one could fathom out how or why they dreamt up a policy that had no basis whatsoever in law or simple logic.

Paul Murton on Skye

The movie moguls of Hollywood have been now it’s the turn of the small screen to take a tour around Trotternish.  

For Staffin and the peninsula are to feature on the BBC this autumn as presenter Paul Murton focusses his popular “Grand Tours of the Scottish Islands” to the north of Skye

Last month Paul and his film crew toured Trotternish and later this year – possibly late September or early October - BBC1 viewers will get a chance to find out what he discovered.

Armed with his Victorian tourist guidebook, Blacks, the Staffin Community Trust reports that there was filming not just in Staffin but right along the ridge. 

1 neil hart m 37.35
 2 lea macleod m 38.24
 3 chris james skye and lochalsh running club m 39.05
 4 norman gilllies m 39.07
 5 thomas barrow nairn road runners m 39.16
 6 james macinnes m 39.40
 7 sandy laing skye and lochalsh running club m 41.04
 8 chris kerr m 41.30
 9 Robert macaskill m 41.36
 10 emma birnie f 42.20

The Scottish Government backed  - Let’s Get Online initiative – comes to Portree this week.

On Friday (July 8) a team will be in community library to provide one-to-one free informal internet sessions and printed advice to assist the local people to make the most of the internet and all that it entails.

Entertainment for people of all ages could be found at Kyleakin Gala this afternoon.  

Whether it was axe-throwing or archery, courtesy of ACE Target Sports; the rousing skirl of pipes from the Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band or the excellent Highland Dancing display, the organisers of Kyleakin Gala worked hard to ensure there was something for everyone.

The whole of Kyleakin was abuzz with excitement today (Saturday July 2) as over 60 runners took to the roads for the Skye Bridge 10k Race.  

The race was won by Neil Hart from Reading, while the first female across the line was Emma Birnie from Glasgow.

Skye Mountain Rescue team leader Gerry Akroyd MBE was amongst over 100 “local heroes” nominated for the opening of the Scottish Parliament.

Local MSP, Kate Forbes, decided to invite the 71 years old along to honour the volunteer rescuers on the island and recognise Gerry’s four decades of being nvolved with the mountaineering scene locally.

Each of the parliament’s 129 MSPs were invited to choose a local hero to join the historic Riding of Parliament, from Edinburgh Castle along the Royal Mile for the opening which was carried out by The Queen.

The latest cruise ship to sail into Portree today was the French vessel 'L'Austral' bringing some 200 passengers and with a crew of around 140.  She is expected to leave at around 6pm this evening.

Portree Primary have grabbed gold to join a group of select schools across Scotland.

For the school is one of just 92 across the country who have been presented with The sportscotland School Sport Award coverted gold award.

Work well advanced

Sleat’s £5 million new Torabhaig Whisky Distillery is moving ever closer to beginning the production of its very first spirit.

Scheduled for full opening in Spring 2017, work on producing the new whisky is expected to begin this autumn.

With work on the distillery and accompanying visitor centre continuing apace, Ian Blackford, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber has been the most recent visitor to the site where he was greeted by project manager, Hamish Fraser from Mossburn Distillers Ltd and Richard Beattie of the Colorado Group.

Ian Blackford visits

He said: “This is a remarkable project and will, no doubt, become one of the most popular distilleries on Scotland's west coast. Importantly it will provide employment for local people and bring back to life a beautiful old barn built more than 150 years ago.

The licence application process for anyone with an air weapon is now open.

From July 1 anyone with an air weapon can apply for a licence which must be obtained before the new legislation making the guns illegal to have without one comes into force after December 31, 2016.

In the recent Air Weapon Surrender Campaign run by Police Scotland a total of 13,500 weapons were handed in.

ACC Mark Williams said: "I'm delighted with the response so far from the public and would once again like to thank those responsible members of the public who handed in their unwanted air weapons.